I have a friend who often makes me feel as though I’m being tested. Like she’ll avoid me long enough to see if I notice her absence and come after her (obviously, I don’t know her motives, this is just how it seems). Or she’ll ask me for help, then reject it… and it feels as though there’s some ulterior motive, but I’m a little too dense to place my finger on it. I often feel really drained by this and don’t quite know how to be a good friend to her, because our friendship exhausts me for all these reasons.
This is not a confession of the “I have a friend” sort, but it might as well be. Because I do the same thing to my family sometimes. I have this disease called “being human” where I project my spiritual needs onto those around me. And what I’ve noticed is that, when I misplace the need to be loved and valued onto my husband, kids, friends, whoever, then I end up feeling really depleted, because they can’t possibly fill the void that Jesus is meant to fill, and I also end up missing all of the ways that they actually do love me. I place unmet expectations on them to love me in specific ways, like I’m testing them to see if they know me well enough to meet my expectations. I’m just being honest. Sorry if it’s ugly… or if you had some lofty idea that I was a super-human and didn’t struggle at all. Pretty sure Jesus is the only super-human that ever was!
Anyways, I just wanted to confess that, because I thought maybe we could all see ourselves in this mirror. It’s hard for me, sometimes, to feel the drain of trying to meet someone else’s expectations, but looking at the difficulty of it all helps me in a strange way, because I see myself in the story, and I realize I drain others similarly sometimes. It provokes me to repentance.
It reminds me that I am absolutely, unalterably loved by the Most High! And in that, I find immense freedom and the luxury to stop projecting my neediness on others, and instead give myself away like the Bible tells me to. When we are liberated by the immensity of the lavish Love of God, it fills us up to overflowing… and suddenly, we don’t need that faulty human-being kinda love so much, because, well, we’re full of the most wonderful kinds of love of all!
And for those who have a difficult time believing in God’s love for you… the Cross proves it!
Here’s to living with abandon!